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Trooper suspended four days for profane texts

Posted July 13, 2011

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— The North Carolina State Highway Patrol on Wednesday suspended a trooper for four days, saying he violated agency policy by sending text messages containing foul language.

The case stemmed from a Raleigh woman's claims that she was harassed and intimidated during a traffic stop in Wilmington last month.

Raleigh attorney Hoyt Tessener wrote an eight-page letter last month to more than two dozen state officials, saying that Senior Trooper Edward Wyrick stopped his wife, Gina Tessener, as she left a gala on the evening of June 21 and held her on suspicion of driving while impaired, even though she registered a 0.00 reading on two alcohol breath tests.

North Carolina State Highway Patrol Highway Patrol's findings

She also has claimed that she believes Wyrick arranged to have her husband pulled over by another trooper, Andrew Smith, during the encounter.

After an internal investigation, the patrol cleared Wyrick of any wrongdoing, saying he was justified in making the traffic stop and had probable cause to arrest Gina Tessener.

The investigation also found that Smith sent inappropriate messages to Wyrick, including some with profanity, and that he failed to document his stop of Hoyt Tessener, to whom he gave a verbal warning for driving 58 mph in a 45-mph zone.

Smith will receive additional training on Highway Patrol policy before returning to full duty, the agency said.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • lkanzig Jul 15, 2011

    oh my god these people are sad! there is a reason he pulled her over. there is a reason the husband was pulled over (58 in 45) they should be happy they only got text mgs about them. a good pistol whipping is what they need!

  • RMC10 Jul 15, 2011

    Part 2 - that's no way for a NC resident to be treated by an officer. Way more than not liking attorneys in the Tesseners' treatment.

  • RMC10 Jul 15, 2011

    I read the NCHP investigation report also and N&O and WRAL, as a woman who was recently treated very rudely by a town policeman, who at 5:15 shouted at me like that, and asked me if I was drunk it was 5:15 and I was coming from work, and he had a poorly marked lane blocked marker, which I missed. When he came up to my car I thought he'd simply tell me I needed to turn around and go around the other way, but he harassed me, ran my license and registration, shouted at me for missing the marker, and then made me back up 1.5 blocks back to the marker I missed. I was almost in tears. I can only imagine the ordeal Ms. Tessener went through. I cannot believe how long Officer Wyrick harrassed her in trying to prove his point. He stopped her for a headlight out, and then she was forcibly handcuffed, made to go to not one but two magistrates (offices), after it was clear she was NOT DRUNK, then set up her husband to be stopped. I cannot believe this guy didn't even get a slap on the hand.

  • viking416 Jul 15, 2011

    @warbirdlover Fire them both and you will have more then enough better qualified candidates lining up to take their places.

  • Sherlock Jul 15, 2011

    I beleive there is a law for texting while driving.

  • warbirdlover Jul 15, 2011

    How many of you have been arrested, took downtown for nothing. By the looks of the post on here, LEO are so busy being cowboys, they never arrest criminals, just prey on innocent people. Fire all the LEO's, and you take their jobs. I want to be there, when you stop a car full of young men on I95 at 3:00am for swerving down the road at 85mph, or run into a nursing home, with no backup, facing a shotgun toting psycho. I don't know if I could do it, because I have never been in such a situation. Hoyt & Gina are a couple of arrogant, I'm better than you, brats who didn't get their way. The first tipoff that they were lying is his profession. Pesonal Injury Lawyers are professional liers, they love to embellish, that's their job.

  • Milkman Jul 15, 2011

    "And it's also interesting that he's not in trouble for willfully violating NC Law about reporting all stops" Milkman

    Please provide the statute number for that "law". Hint; it is not a law.
    - thepeopleschamp

    The law is NC GS-114-10.01, and I didn't know it was a law until I read it in the NCSHP findings re: Trooper Smith.

  • soyousay Jul 14, 2011

    For the pathetic amount troopers are paid, 4 days is alot of money...for profanity? beyond nonsense. self-righteous garbage. did the couple get stopped correctly or not..that is pretty much settled...but to cost that kid that find of money for profanity...let me check my calendar and see what year it is

  • viking416 Jul 14, 2011

    "The Troopers did nothing wrong. You break the law, you go downtown, end of story." warbird

    And if you don't break the law....you still go downtown! And if LEO don't like you ...you guessed it....downtown!

  • warbirdlover Jul 14, 2011

    Don't all you LEO haters,think you look silly, spewing that all LEO are egomaniacs, looking for a date, or just plain evil. My Father was a ATF agent. He delt with some of the worst of the worst criminal. If you don't have an Alpha personality, you will be at the mercy of the criminal. The Troopers did nothing wrong. You break the law, you go downtown, end of story. Oh, I reckon Officer Justin Garner should be executed for shooting Robert Stewart, because he was just being a Pompus, badge waving, gun toting brute. How dare he confornt someone shooting helpless elderly people. I don't know why so many people think they are above the law, and hate LEO's. I've been pulled more than once and have never had one problem. Say "Yes Sir and No Sir" take my ticket, pay the fine and go home. I also had one years ago saved me from doing something terrible. He seen me swerving on the road and pulled me. I was falling asleep at the wheel. To get respect, you have to give respect!